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Rashmi Ranjan

The ailing elephant which was stuck in a pond near Sapalahara village in Sambalpur district and died recently, had received a bullet which led to its death. This was revealed by Divisional Forest Officer in a press meet held on Thursday. 

Briefing mediapersons, DFO Vishwanath Neelannavar said “Doctors have recovered a bullet from the body of the elephant during the post-mortem. Meanwhile, three persons have been detained for interrogation in this connection and a country-made gun has also been recovered from the accused. The accused are reported to have fired at the elephant from atop a tree in Kalapat area.”

According to sources, villagers spotted the elephant trapped in a pond near Sapalahara village. Due to weakness, the pachyderm was partially submerged in water and was unable to come out of the mud. Though forest officials gave their best efforts stretching over five days to rescue the ailing elephant, their efforts yielded no results with the tusker stopping to react to treatment. The tusker took last breath after being brought to bank through a crane.

Earlier, another pachyderm which was found with gunshot wounds near a rivulet in Narasinghapur forest range under Athgarh forest division in Cuttack district had succumbed to its injuries on June 14 despite the efforts of expert doctors belonging to Satakosia Tiger Reserve, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology. 
After battling for eight days, the tusker gave up battle for life. Before that two decomposed jumbo carcasses were recovered from Athagarh forest division.

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